Although election day and the following days may bring about feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, the safety and security of the U-M community is the number one priority of DPSS. We want our community members to know the steps we are taking to ensure their safety. DPSS compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions related to election safety at U-M.
Q: I am concerned for my safety when going to vote. What is DPSS doing to ensure I am safe during the election?
A: Ensuring the safety of the U-M community is the number one priority of DPSS. On election day, this means working with the community to ensure that citizens are able to exercise their right to vote safely and without intimidation. If for any reason you believe you are experiencing voter intimidation, or are witnessing it on Election Day, community members are encouraged to contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General by calling 517-335-7659 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call DPSS at (734)763-1131 for assistance.
Q: Can people open carry or bring any other weapons to a polling location on campus?
A: Weapons are not permitted on any property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the Regents of the University of Michigan, regardless of whether the individual has a concealed weapons permit, per Article X of the Regents’ Ordinance. If someone is carrying a weapon on campus and you do not believe they are a law enforcement official, please call 911 or you may contact DPSS directly at (734)763-1131.
Q: I’m currently at a polling location and I feel intimidated and afraid to vote.
A: If for any reason you believe you are experiencing voter intimidation, or are witnessing it on Election Day, community members are encouraged to contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General by calling 517-335-7659 or emailing email@example.com. You may also call DPSS at (734)763-1131 for assistance.
Q: I’m currently at a polling location and there are people without face coverings and I want them to put one on for my safety.
A: According to the State of Michigan, voters are encouraged but not required to wear a face-covering while at a polling place for the purposes of voting in an election. The U-M policy requiring face coverings on campus likewise provides an exemption for polling locations. The face mask requirement will continue to be enforced at all other locations on campus
Q: I’m in Quarantine/Isolation housing and I need a ride to go vote.
A: Students are encouraged to vote absentee given public health guidance. The university will not be providing transportation to and from polling locations on Election Day, and will instead support student voting by providing access to the relevant forms and outlining the frequently asked questions and processes listed on the Ginsberg Center website.
Q: Am I allowed to campaign outside a polling location?
A: On election day, persuading or endeavoring to persuade a person to vote for or against any particular candidate or party ticket or for or against any ballot question that is being voted on at the election is not permitted within 100 feet of a polling location or building, per Michigan law. This includes clothing and buttons as well as materials such as pamphlets, flyers and stickers. If someone is at the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans, poll workers will ask them to cover or remove it.
In addition to the FAQs, please review the recently published Protest and Demonstration safety article for more information about safely exercising your first amendment rights during the pandemic.